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Lynbrook School Board Reviews Capital Projects, Possible Performing Arts Expansion

Returning trustees swore in, Papandrew re-appointed to president's post at first meeting of 2012-13 school year.

Although students and teachers won't resume classes until September, the Lynbrook Board of Education held its first meeting of the 2012-2013 school year Tuesday night.

Recently re-elected Trustees Rob Paskoff, Sean Strife and Cathy Papandrew were sworn in to begin their latest terms on the board. The school board unanimously re-appointed Papandrew to the position of Board President. Ellen Marcus was apponted Vice President and Dr. William Kayen was made secretary. All three took an oath of office, as did Schools Superintendent Dr. Santo Barbarino. (Although not present to be sworn in, Kathy Lapp and Linda Gillepsie were unanimously appointed to the positions of Assistant District Clerk and District Treasurer, respectively.)

As part of the annual Reorganization Meeting, the board also approved several contracts including those for the district's legal counsel, auditors, public relations consultants, doctors, insurance agents, directors and other officers. Trustee Alice Bresnihan volunteered to serve as the board's legislative representative and adult education advisor, and Trustee Robert Paskoff stepped up to serve as the PTA Council delegate.

From there, the board transitioned into its monthly business meeting, where they voted to accept faculty appointments, a leave of absence, and the schedule of salaries for non-contractual employees for the upcoming school year.

The board also discussed the recent successful , potential revisions to its policy on open enrollment for students taking honors and AP classes, and the latest developments in crafting an Annual Professional Performance Review Plan for its faculty members (More on this tomorrow.)

They also received an update on the renovations to the district's facilities,

"There's much work that lies ahead," Dr. Barbarino said of the capital projects, which residents approved when they passed Proposition #4. 

The work includes an extension to which will receive a new music room, an elevator and court yard, as well as improvements to its athletic fields. A turf field will be installed at , and the baseball field will be restored at South Middle School.

Dr. Barbarino said that the district's administrators have been holding meetings and visiting other schools to see some of the architect's completed work. They checked out music rooms in the Hauppauge and Three Village school districts that the architect had designed.

"We're trying to get as complete a picture as possible of what lies ahead for North Middle School," he added. "We spoke with [the architect] about the possibilities of incorporating the best of what we saw from those two school districts into the North Middle School project."

Lynbrook school officials also visited athletic fields in Valley Stream and Franklin Square, and at St. Anthony's, to get some ideas for the baseball diamond that will be rebuilt at South Middle School.

Some residents, who remembered when South did have a baseball field about 40 to 50 years ago, had expressed concerns to district about restoring it, specifically regarding the positioning of the backstop and fencing to protect residents neighboring the field from foul balls.

"We especially liked the backstop at Valley Stream. It was extremely protective," Barbarino said, adding that he felt it would satisfy the concerned residents. They also liked the fencing that St. Anthony's uses.

"That's the kind of legwork that's been going on and we're bringing all our wishes back to the architect as he begins to build the layout of all these projects," he explained.

Papandrew also revisited the idea of building an extension to Lynbrook High School for a state-of-the-art performance center, a project that may require the district to go out for another bond. (One of the district's current bonds dies out this year and the other during the 2013-2014 school year, according to Dr. Melissa Burak, assistant superintendent for business.)

Paskoff suggested that if the board does choose to explore the idea it should look into partnering with other municipalities, such as the villages of Lynbrook and East Rockaway, or local professional groups, who might want to utilize this facility to see if they would assist in funding the project.

The board decided to look into this concept, its potential costs and possible funding options, and present some preliminary information at its August meeting.

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